An Aberdeen woman who left school for university aged just 16 plans to travel the world after her graduation.
Natalie Campbell, from Kingswells, was one of the hundreds of happy students to take to the stage at His Majesty’s Theatre yesterday as part of the ceremonies for Robert Gordon University (RGU).
The 20-year-old, who graduated with a 2:1 degree in Forensic and Analytical Science, entered university early after obtaining all her entry qualifications at Higher level in one sitting for the course which was exactly what she was looking for.
Natalie said: “I am delighted with my result and couldn’t have hoped for more out of my course.
“Having taken on the challenge one year earlier than most of my peers, I wanted to make sure it was worth the risk of leaving a year early from school.
“My time at RGU was exciting. From being part of RGU cheerleading team and competing nationally to being a student ambassador representing the university at different events, I was provided with lots of learning opportunities.”
Natalie spent two years as part of the university’s cheerleading squad.
She said: “I learned a lot about teamwork and made new friends from different degree disciplines.
“It was great for managing exam stress and allowed me to have a social life and get fit while doing so.”
Natalie said she particularly enjoyed the hands-on, practical aspect of the course, including the parts which made her feel like she was working on real crime scenes.
While at university, she also had the chance to participate in research into antioxidants and their effect on Alzheimer’s.
She said: “I was happy to learn that the research I carried out will be continued by a PhD student.
“It’s nice to know that the hard work you put in may positively influence someone’s life in the future.
“The best part was being able to feel like you were actually working on a case, from entering a crime scene in full white suit, mask, goggles, gloves and shoe covers, to collecting and analysing the evidence, to presenting an expert witness report in front of a mock jury and judges.
“I was able to get a feel for all aspects of the forensic process. We were also taught the analytical side and the background behind multiple instruments used to analyse and build a report for presentation in a court.
“I now have many transferable skills which can be used in any workplace.”
Having finished her degree, Natalie will now be taking a year out to explore the world before starting full-time work.
On her travels, she will be going to a range of places, including Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.
She will also visit Singapore to meet up with one of the international students she worked with while a student ambassador at the university.
Natalie said: “I would never have met her had it not been for the work experience I was given through RGU.
“When I get back, I hope to pursue a career in science-based professional recruitment or medical sales.
“My time at university has provided me with multiple opportunities, both extracurricular and through my degree, which have given me many skills I can apply to multiple job disciplines.